Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kay Duffy

Pine Tree Patterns, 21" x 29"
gouache over acrylic

Kay Duffy finds the freedom, spontaneity and speed of watercolor well-suited to her temperament. Her watercolors are painted in a "wet and loose" or "juicy" style, using bright colors, strong shapes, and broad brushstrokes to depict impressions of individual flowers and trees as well as natural landscapes and buildings. She especially enjoys the freedom of painting on location -- en plein air -- both in the U.S. and in her travels to other countries.

As part of her ongoing interest in experimenting with different approaches, Kay has recently been exploring the use of gouache (an opaque watercolor using the same pigments and binders as traditional transparent watercolor, but with the addition of white pigment). Working on papers which she has coated with a layer of brightly colored acrylic paint, she allows bits of the undercoat to peek through, adding zest to the finished paintings.

Grand Canyon – Pumpkin, 14" x 18"
gouache over acrylic

Mt. Diablo, 21" x 29"
gouache over acrylic

Although Kay's educational background is in the sciences, she has been painting for over 40 years. Always endeavoring to learn and grow, she has taken workshops with such nationally known artists as Jane Hofstetter, Gerald Brommer, Barbara Nechis, Zoltan Szabo, Judy Betts, Marilyn Simandle, Frank Webb, Cheng Khee Chee, and many others. Her interest in plein air painting fits quite well with her love of outdoor recreation and she has been active in community affairs with a focus on parks and open space preservation. Kay is an active member of several local art associations and is a signature member of the Society of Western Artists. She teaches watercolor and collage at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, California.

Over the Coast – Bixby Bridge, 21" x 29"
gouache over acrylic

Snowy Trees, 29" x 21"
gouache over acrylic

Please visit Kay's website to see more of her work and get information on her galleries and classes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sally Bookman

White Azalea, 22" x 30"

Although Sally Bookman lives in the Monterey Bay Area in California, with its abundance of subjects for painting, she also loves to travel and finds inspiration from exploring new places. Most of her paintings depict her love of local scenes (whether in California, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Europe), harbors, old homes by the sea, and colorful gardens. Feeling that landscape paintings can too often become trite, she uses strong design and lively color to inject excitement into her work. Sally says, "I want viewers to look at my paintings and be intrigued, curious, and captivated. If I can make them pause for a moment and recall a special time or event in their lives that brings back happy memories or evokes a feeling of pleasure, then I am happy."

Iris Garden, 30" x 22"

Sally's route to being a successful watercolorist began in London, UK, where she studied art at St. Martin's School of Art and Design and hung her paintings on the iron railings along the Thames, hoping to sell to passing art lovers. At age 19, she moved to Australia and then, a few years later, to California. After earning a doctorate in social anthropology, she moved to Santa Cruz, California and began work as a real estate agent. A decade later, she decided to take up watercolor as a part-time recreation. Although she studied art at both Long Beach State College and Cabrillo College, she feels most indebted to the many instructors whose workshops she has attended across the country over the past 20 years. While she finds herself drawn to experimenting with collage and acrylic from time to time, she always returns to watercolor.

San Miguel, 22" x 30"

Caribbean Harbor, 24" x 18"

Capitola Cafe, 24" x 18"

Please hop over to Sally's website to see more of her work.